Kathleen Wynne announces $29 billion transit and transportation plan
Premier Kathleen Wynne says the minority Liberal government will spend $29 billion in new money over the next 10 years on transit and transportation — $15 billion for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and $14 billion for the rest of the province.
Speaking to a noon-hour Toronto crowd of about 500, Wynne said it will dedicate 7.5 cents per litre of the gas tax and the HST on fuel tax — totalling more than $1.3 billion annually — to build new transit, roads, highways and bridges.
“We need an aggressive and serious investment in transit right here in the GTHA (Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area),” she said, adding the money now goes into general government coffers.
Wynne said the plan also includes new so-called dedicated revenue tools, redirecting existing revenue and debt financing.
The premier was short of specifics, saying details will be revealed in the spring budget, including how much will go to transit or whether there will be tax increases. She has, however already ruled out raising the gas tax, HST or raising income tax on middle-income earners
However, she did say there will be high occupancy lane tolls, as laid out in last year’s budget and that the Green Bond program will be directed to the plan.
“We are going to make sure that we do not miss this opportunity to do the right thing,” Wynne said, emphasizing that her announcement does not mean the province is backing away from the multi-year, $50- billion Big Move project to improve transit across the GTHA.
Metrolinx board chair Robert Prichard said Wynne’s announcement represents an endorsement for The Big Move. (Source: Toronto Star)